My Previous Home Gets an Addition

I have a before and after makeover house addition to show you today. One that I think you will enjoy seeing.

Ed and I did the Before and the buyers who bought our previous home in Pennsylvania did the After to create one amazing outdoor space.

Lake side of 1970 era home that got a new coat of paint

Newer readers to my blog know that this is my house on Lake Murray in South Carolina. We have lived here for 5 years.

house selling tips

But if you are a long term reader you know that for the first 6 years of my blog, the projects and home improvements that I shared with you were done in my previous home in Pennsylvania.

Last week, I got an email from the wife of the couple that bought my previous house. She told me after 5 years in the house that Ed got a check in the mail. She no longer had our SC address and asked for it so she could forward the check to us.

In our email exchange, she attached a few photos telling me that they have done many updates and changes to the house, but just finished the biggest one and thought I would enjoy seeing it.

When I opened the photos I was like… where is this, until I realized the photos were of the backyard of my previous house.


When Ed and I first moved into the house 27 years ago, our daughters were ages 3 and 6. They are now 30 and 33.

We moved to this house in mid-December 1993 during a wicked snowstorm. The following spring, we built a large deck off the back of the family room. That is Ed and I when we were a whole lot younger. :-)


Over the years I re-stained the deck a few times…

Vintage string lights

…and it served us well for entertaining purposes.

Vintage bulb string lights on a deck

The deck that was going on 27 years old is no longer. Wait until you see what was built in its place.

Outdoor fireplace and covered porch

Hello updated and new!

When I first opened the email with these photos, it took me a few seconds to understand what I was looking at as the view looked so familiar to me, but at the same time it didn’t.

Then it hit me when I saw the pool and the white fence that hides the pool equipment – I was looking at a current image of the backyard of my previous house!


Home addition of a covered porch and fireplace

What a nice update. I always wanted to cover the deck, but never did as I was afraid it would make the family room in the house too dark.

But …oh how nice to be able to sit outside when it’s raining and now in the weeks ahead as the weather cools sitting outside with a fire that goes on and off with the touch of a button.

View of new back porch addition to a brick colonial

Oh yeah… sign me up. :-)


My memories of the backyard and many fun times will always remain the way it looked when we lived in the house – like the day when the high school girls Cross Country team tried to make a World Record to see how many of them could fit into the hot tub (seen in the above photo) connected to the pool. It was 31 girls and I have the photos to prove it. :-)


I enjoyed seeing the photos of such a great addition to a wonderful house in a great neighborhood. It makes me smile to see the house is being updated to fit the life of a new family making their own memories with their two daughters.

Oh…. and the check that was forwarded was for an over payment from a physical therapist Ed went to 6 years ago for his knee. We wonder if they just did an audit on their books and found it.

It was a nice little surprise to get an unexpected refund and to see the updates to a house I called home for 22 years.

Happy weekend – try to live it in your own style.

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  1. Barbara Jaeger says:

    That’s a massive addition! I’m sure the homeowners will make many wonderful memories there but I still like the deck and gazebo you built (and I bet the family room is dark now … ).

  2. sylvia walker says:

    Hi Diane, absolutely fabulous pictures of a beautiful house, & so much land. I live in U.K. & we don’t get land like that very often, nor around a beautiful lake like where you live now, the cost would be astronomical here now! I love those white covers so many people put on their sofas, look lovely, don’t seems to sell them here though. xx

  3. Paige Coggin says:

    That is something else! So new and practical and well, solid. That was so nice of her to reach out to you. I have visions of what I want in my backyard. It’s something like and airy like your original version with the elements of the renovated version, like fire place and fan and bricks.

  4. Kathryn Rhyne says:

    WOW! That is quite a change. I have so many good memories of the old deck :)

  5. 1960s girl says:

    Hello. I like the white deck that you built. It looked classic and light and festive. I don’t like very much those new builts with massive roofs and brick. They’re so “HGTV”!

  6. Diane,

    The project came out beautifully- everybody’s taste is different,

    When I saw your PA home I was in awe and could not believe how beautiful your deck and pool area was. Not only that, what you have done to the interior of your home.

  7. Kelly Elko says:

    What a great walk down memory lane Diane and they did such a great job on the addition!

  8. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    Wow that looks incredible. That’s awesome that you keep in contact with the new owners.

  9. Wow amazing! Just curious what type of furniture do you think is out there now that wouldn’t get yucky in the rain? Just wondering. It’s an amazing update though!!

  10. Super outdoor room! Heaters in rafters too!!
    Where in Penna?

  11. Hi Dianne, What a surprise for you to see that addition to your old homestead. It’s beautiful, however, I’ll take Lake Murray any day and I’m sure you will too. Bet you miss the snow like a toothache. :) Have I been a follower for 10 years? Doesn’t seem possible.

    1. Sorry I put an additional “n” in your name!

  12. Great update and compliments the architecture of your old home!! That must’ve been a fun surprise ?.

  13. A beautiful home continuing to be loved and a place of making special memories.
    Thanks for sharing and always bringing a smile to our hearts.

  14. Calypso in the Country says:

    Wow, what a nice covered area and how thoughtful of them to send you the photos! It was a beautiful space before but I’m sure having the roof really stretches their outdoor time. I wish we added a covered area on our patio. We only have a couple umbrellas and it can get pretty hot out there!

  15. That’s quite a surprise makeover when you aren’t expecting it. They did a lovely job. I have covered porches on the front and rear porches of my home and it does stay some what dark so I get it. Everything has its trade offs.

  16. What a beautiful change…but I have to say I loved the way you had it too. Tell Ed I knew that was him in the picture…he has such great hair?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi June – I will tell him. Everyone tells him that and they think he colors it, but he doesn’t. Not a grey hair on his head. I have it all. XO